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Question
Posted by: Jo | 2010/03/31

where to begin

I am 46 and have never done yoga - where is the best place for me to begin? I haven''t got any back injuries, but I have suffered from frozen shoulder, and I don''t want to hurt myself.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageYoga

Generally yoga can be practiced by people of all ages and with all manner of physical conditions. The important thing is to approach your practice mindfully.

Start in a beginner class and remember never to strain or force any practice, and if in the class you encounter a practice that at this stage does not feel appropriate for your shoulder then do not do it and seek advice from your instructor as to how to modify the practice to suit you. The instructor can also make suggestions of practices that will help to strengthen and increase flexibility in the shoulder region.

It is worth trying a few different classes until you find a style and teacher that you feel most drawn to. Then be regular in your practice and be prepared to work through difficulties on your path.

Yoga should be practiced daily for it to have any lasting and beneficial effects and it is worth developing some practice at home as well as attending a regular class. I would not suggest doing any style that places too much emphasis on the physical postures only, but rather look at the slower styles that integrate practices of breathing, relaxation and meditation and that cultivate awareness of your body so that you may approach your issue more mindfully.

In South Africa there are many teachers who are not adequately trained and I have heard of many people injuring themselves by doing practices that are not appropriate for them. This is unfortunate as people tend to then think of all yoga as being inappropriate.

You should also remember that yoga is not a physical exercise but a spiritual path made up of many practices that will bring about physical health and mental well being, and leads to an overall deepening of your understanding of yourself. So the real question is why do you want to start yoga?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: yoga | 2010/03/31

Generally yoga can be practiced by people of all ages and with all manner of physical conditions. The important thing is to approach your practice mindfully.

Start in a beginner class and remember never to strain or force any practice, and if in the class you encounter a practice that at this stage does not feel appropriate for your shoulder then do not do it and seek advice from your instructor as to how to modify the practice to suit you. The instructor can also make suggestions of practices that will help to strengthen and increase flexibility in the shoulder region.

It is worth trying a few different classes until you find a style and teacher that you feel most drawn to. Then be regular in your practice and be prepared to work through difficulties on your path.

Yoga should be practiced daily for it to have any lasting and beneficial effects and it is worth developing some practice at home as well as attending a regular class. I would not suggest doing any style that places too much emphasis on the physical postures only, but rather look at the slower styles that integrate practices of breathing, relaxation and meditation and that cultivate awareness of your body so that you may approach your issue more mindfully.

In South Africa there are many teachers who are not adequately trained and I have heard of many people injuring themselves by doing practices that are not appropriate for them. This is unfortunate as people tend to then think of all yoga as being inappropriate.

You should also remember that yoga is not a physical exercise but a spiritual path made up of many practices that will bring about physical health and mental well being, and leads to an overall deepening of your understanding of yourself. So the real question is why do you want to start yoga?

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